Corniglia – Cinque Terre

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« […]And then in a white napkin brought him two slices of toast and a big glass of Vernaccia from Corniglia[…] »

Corniglia (Curnigia in the local dialect – Corniggia in ligure), ancient village of the Ligurian Riviera di Levante and the municipality of Vernazza, in the province of La Spezia, is one of the places that make up the Cinque Terre.


Corniglia is located centrally with respect to the other villages of the Cinque Terre, located east of the town hall, Vernazza (which unites an impressive promenade halfway between the summit and the sea) and Monterosso, and to the west diManarola and Riomaggiore. It differs from the other villages of the Cinque Terre as it is the only borough that is not directly facing the sea, but sits on top of a hill about ninety feet high, surrounded by vineyards on terraces characteristic bands, except the side that faces the sea. To reach Corniglia is necessary to climb a long stairway that Lardarina, consists of 33 ramps 382 steps or along the road connecting the railway station.


The origins of the village date back to Roman times; the name probably derives from Gens Cornelia, family owning land. It is interesting to note that during the excavations of Pompeii, were found amphorae on which appeared the name of "Cornelia".

During the Middle Ages, similar to neighboring villages, suffered the domain of the Counts of Lavagna, the lords of Carpena, di Monday. In 1254 Pope Innocent IV ceded possession Fieschi Article shall, until, in 1276 power passed to Genoa.

Places of interest

The whole town is located along the main street, Via Fieschi, leading from the parish of St. Peter, up to the lookout terrace of the Santa Maria.

Directly below the square of the church can be identified, on the facade of a house, Some remains of medieval architecture, including some small sculptures. It is likely that in that place arose the’hospital- the country.

Continuing down the road meets the paved road, forming the square Ciapara (in the local dialect Ciapa), beyond which you enter the Alley Corniglia. This narrow road leads to the main square, Long Taragio (in the local dialect er Taragiu) which is positioned at the center of the Monument to the Fallen, and dominated the Oratory of Santa Caterina. Behind the church, After a long and steep stairway, Landing on a small square called “ditch”, which is recognizable by the Tower, the only remaining ruins of the Genoese fortifications dating back to the 1556 about. Climbed on top of what remains of this tower, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the sea and the coast versoManarola.

Another breathtaking view of the entire coast of the Cinque Terre from the terrace of Santa Maria (90 meters above sea level, that.), reachable from Largo Taragio continuing along Via Fieschi. In the corner of the terrace that looks towards Vernazza stood a chapel, fall to the sea at mid-nineteenth century. On the same side you can see the little sweater that forms the “Marina Corniglia”. Also from this side, the mountains, you can see the shrine of Our Lady of Grace in San Bernardino.

From Largo Taragio, in front of the monument to the fallen, also a staircase (on the Marina) that descends to the Marina Corniglia. The charming little bay has a dock for a few berths for nationals, enclosed to the left by a small pier that juts out into the sea and to the right along the imposing promontory called the three crosses due to the presence of three crosses in memory of the death delCristo. On the opposite side of the headland, following the line of coast to Vernazza, you get to the beach Guvano: placed under what remains of the railway embankment (But now that runs inside the mountain, entirely in tunnel), can be reached by sea or through the gallery of the FS into disuse. This stretch of coast is perhaps one of the most beautiful of the entire coastline of the Cinque Terre, frequently been the target of numerous boats during the summer and a naturist tourism brand.

Religious Architecture

Among the major monuments that counts, there is the parish church of St. Peter, shining example of Ligurian Gothic monument of the fourteenth century, built on the ruins of a chapel of the eleventh century and, after subsequent rearrangements, has within it overlaps Baroque. Behind the main altar you can admire two colorful stained glass windows, Treviglio work of Trento Longaretti.

A building with gothic arches in black stone, located in the churchyard, is considered part of the ancient post station belonged to the famous Ligurian family of Fieschi.

The case of Village Europe

On the path of the Cinque Terre, connecting Manarola to Corniglia, there is a disused and dilapidated resort, known as Village Europe. Consists of about a dozen bungalows forty square feet each, the structure was built on the site of the old railway embankment, rented by the State Railway, five hundred feet from the station of Corniglia and a hundred meters from the border of the town diVernazza.

At that time, due to the formation of the so-called Beach of Corniglia, following the downloading of materials from the construction of new railway, the village was located just above the beach, in a favorable position.

The problems came in the early eighties: the beach below, devoured by the sea, no more; The village lost popularity and, after, was closed because it was considered non-compliant, after he left an amnesty that never came to an end.

The Tar has also rejected the proposal to build a new village on the ruins of the first Europe, by virtue of an action with respect to the incompatibility of the project and the environmental reports of speculation came from local associations, followed by some investigations on some local newspapers, in particular the magazine Information Sustainable.



The church of San Pietro is home each summer Festival of Organ 5 Earth.

From 9 to the 12 August 2007 was carried out in all the villages of the Cinque Terre the third leg of the first edition of Air Festival, an international festival of street performers and entertainment for public. Corniglia was also involved in the event, hosting performances of African Jungle Jeegs, group of acrobats Kenyans, the comedian Chris Lynam, the contortionist Lena Ries and the pair of jugglers Beefcake Boys.

Fixed, fairs and festivals

It celebrates the patron saint, St. Peter's, the 29 June. Religious celebrations include the traditional procession through the streets of the town, from the church of St. Peter up to the terrace of Santa Maria. The typical gastronomic specialties of the festival is the rice cake, made with rice, cheese, eggs and baked. Also typical is the distribution in the squareFieschi's Cake to all participants at the party.

As in many other countries, Italians on the evening of Good Friday is the typical procession following the statue of the dead Christ, along the main street.

Every year on September 8, we celebrate the feast of the shrine of Corniglia, San Bernardino: the inhabitants of the country make pilgrimages to the little village church, with deep devotion to Our Lady of Grace.


Corniglia – tourist destination like the neighboring Sisters – is also known for a very respectable literary quotation. It is in fact mentioned in a passage of the Decameron diBoccaccio, exactly in the novel that chronicles the misadventures of the abbot of Cluny: taken prisoner by Ghino heel and suffering from stomach pain, the prelate was treated by her own jailer with a medicine that would not be sorry to many: two slices of bread baked good, served in a white tovagliula and accompanied by a good glass of Vernaccia di Corniglia.


Transport and communication routes

Roads and highways

Like all other villages of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is reachable from La Spezia along the provincial road number 32, this Coast of the Cinque Terre, then proceeding along the SP 51, beautiful scenic route across the coast, and then going down on SP 30 to the village.


Corniglia has a railway station on the Tyrrhenian Genoa-Rome, the stretch between Genoa and La Spezia. For long-distance trains, the reference station is the nearest of La Spezia Centrale.